Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Filipinos go online for Day of the Dead
A virtual cemetery has opened for All Saints' DayThe homepage of the virtual cemetery
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- October 31, 2012
It is also a public holiday and, traditionally, Filipino families spend a night or two in the cemetery near their relativesâ€™ tombs, playing card games, eating, drinking, singing and dancing.
But what about the large diaspora of Filipinos who are too far away to visit their loved onesâ€™ resting places?
Enter the internet.
On Tuesday, the countryâ€™s bishops reactivated a virtual cemetery: Undas Online.
The website, introduced last year, has a â€śPrayer Requestâ€ť button where visitors can list the names of the dead they want to pray for. With another click, they can also make a visit to the virtual cemetery, where they can spend time in quiet reflection. The site also offers suitable prayers to be recited there.
Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III, media office director of the bishops' conference, said the service is for Filipinos who work abroad and for them to feel that they are also in the cemetery on All Saintsâ€™ Day and All Soulsâ€™ Day.
"Thatâ€™s the purpose of the photos of the cemetery, so that our overseas workers can pray for their departed loved ones by just looking at the photos," he said.
The service received 20,000 requests and garnered "positive feedback" last year from Filipinos around the world, he added.
Also included on the site are podcasts and catechesis on the liturgical meaning of All Saintsâ€™ Day and All Soulsâ€™ Day.
Msgr. Quitorio, however, said Filipinos in the country are still encouraged to visit cemeteries, oratories and churches to physically visit the tombs of their dear departed.
Beware bogus priests, bishop says